Application of the BRAFO tiered approach for benefit-risk assessment to case studies on heat processing contaminants

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The aim of the European Funded Project BRAFO (benefit-risk analysis of foods) project was to develop a framework that allows quantitative comparison of human health risks and benefits of foods based on a common scale of measurement. This publication describes the application of the BRAFO methodology to three different case studies: the formation of acrylamide in potato and cereal based products, the formation of benzo(a)pyrene through smoking and grilling of meat and fish and the heat-treatment of milk. Reference, alternative scenario and target population represented the basic structure to test the tiers of the framework. Various intervention methods intended to reduce acrylamide in potato and cereal products were evaluated against the historical production methods. In conclusion the benefits of the acrylamide-reducing measures were considered prevailing. For benzo(a)pyrene, three illustrated alternative scenarios were evaluated against the most common smoking practice. The alternative scenarios were assessed as delivering benefits, introducing only minimal potential risks. Similar considerations were made for heat treatment of milk where the comparison of the microbiological effects of heat treatment, physico-chemical changes of milk constituents with positive and negative health effects was assessed. In general, based on data available, benefits of the heat treatment were outweighing any risks. (C) 2012 ILSI Europe. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


  • Katrin Schutte
  • Heiner Boeing
  • Andy Hart
  • Walther Heeschen
  • Ernst H. Reimerdes
  • Dace Santare
  • Kerstin Skog
  • Alessandro Chiodini
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Pharmacology and Toxicology


  • Benefit-risk assessment, Tiered approach, Heat processing, Acrylamide, PAH, Milk
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S724-S735
JournalFood and Chemical Toxicology
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Applied Nutrition and Food Chemistry (011001300)